Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Sen. Chuck Schumer vows to oppose Kavanaugh nomination with "everything I've got"

Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, is a friend of business.

Trump had narrowed down his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy to federal appeals judges Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman. "And just like Justice Gorsuch, he excelled as a legal clerk for Justice Kennedy".

"Throughout legal circles, he is considered a judge's judge, a true thought leader among his peers", Trump said of Kavanaugh. It is also his second nomination since becoming president.

In an article in the Minnesota Law Review (pdf), Kavanaugh also noted his position on Senate confirmation hearings-a process he'll soon be facing. According to his biography, Kavanaugh worked with Starr from 1994 to 1997, and was the co-author of the Starr Report, which detailed President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and laid out the case for his impeachment.

If confirmed, he is expected to be a reliable conservative vote who could weaken abortion rights, bolster support for capital punishment and curtail the power of regulatory agencies.

"I'm deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on The Supreme Court", Brett said.

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If confirmed, the appellate judge would become the second young conservative jurist Trump has put on the top USA court during his first term.

On the appeal court, Kavanaugh has voted to strike down environmental regulations and said he would have overturned internet regulations issued while Barack Obama was president. Senate Republicans hold only a 51-49 majority, leaving them hardly any margin if Democrats hold the line. On abortion, Kavanaugh voted in October to delay an abortion for a teenage immigrant who was in government custody. "Judge Kavanaugh clearly understands the proper role of a judge is to interpret the law as it is written and apply the law impartially". "Trump did not move too fast in naming a nominee", said Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute's Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies.

Democrats fear Kavanaugh's presence on the court could tilt the balance irrevocably on defining social issues such as women's right to abortion and gay rights. Since 2006, he has been a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington.

Kennedy has always been a swing vote to in favour of abortion rights. "This is partially due to the cases it has been asked to decide, such as the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and it is partially due to the divided nature of American politics".

Unlike presidents or members of Congress, however, Supreme Court justices in the United States do not have terms - they usually serve until they resign or die, giving presidents who select them a judicial legacy sometimes lasting decades beyond their terms in office.

Kennedy, who is 81, had been nominated for the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. "If Trump is allowed to replace Kennedy with a nominee in the mold of his last pick, Neil Gorsuch, the effect will wreak havoc on our country for generations to come", writes Marge Baker, executive vice president of People for the American Way, in a statement. "Trump's nominees to the lower courts have been a rogues gallery of right-wing activists, virtually all of whom have spent their careers pushing an extreme ideological agenda in the law".

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